The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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January 27, 2013

Central Cambria junior’s texting earns free trip

— Chelsea Adams is about to be spending some time down under.

The Central Cambria High School junior won a trip for five people to Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. She will leave today for the 10-day trip.

Chelsea won by entering the nationwide Gilly Hicks Back to School 2012 sweepstakes that was held in July through early August.

For the contest, Gilly Hicks, a division of retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, asked people to text or tweet a number or word the company provided during that time period. A winner was randomly selected.

“I went online to Gilly Hicks to order clothes and the first page that came up was about texting to win the trip,” the 16-year-old said. “I thought ‘whatever, I’ll give it a try.’ ”

Chelsea said she texted and tweeted every day, but didn’t give much thought to actually winning, given how many people were participating.

“I got a call on Aug. 15 and I was told I was selected as the winner,” she said. “I started screaming and thought she was kidding. My heart started beating really fast.”

From there, information packets were sent that needed to be signed by all who would be going on the trip.

Chelsea is taking her mom, stepfather and older brother and sister.

“I was crying and telling them I was taking them, everyone is just so excited,” she said.

The trip includes airfare and hotel stay as well as $10,000 spending cash and an additional $12,000 to cover the taxes. In all, the trip is worth over $55,000.

The stay is pretty much planned out and the family has a jam-packed itinerary that includes visits to the Sydney Opera House, the Taronga Zoo, the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains. They’ll also be dining at the waterfront restaurant Wildfire and have breakfast with koala bears. And for some adventure the family will take a seaplane flight and go on a kayak excursion.

“We’ll also be able to go to the beach and do some shopping – whatever we want,” Chelsea said.

There isn’t anything specific Chelsea is looking forward to the most, she just wants to get there.

“I want to go and take it all in,” she said.

“I want to see it all.”

She admitted she’s still trying to wrap her head around winning such an extravagant trip.

“It gives me chills to talk about it and it’s so awesome,” Chelsea said. “I’ll tell everybody to enter these contests because you could actually win.”

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